Dr. Hal Scherz on the Affordable Care Act’s $27 Trillion of Unfunded Mandates and the Future of Medicare and Medicaid

Docs 4 Patient Care believes that the government should not control healthcare.

Docs 4 Patient Care believes that the government should not control healthcare.

Editor’s Note from Lisa Wells, the Director of Marketing at UroMed: Many times people with spinal cord injuries are unable to work, which means many of our UroMed clients are on Medicare. Or, if a child has spinal bifida, most of them are on Medicare. These reasons are why UroMed is bringing this issue to our readers. If doctors stop taking Medicare or Medicaid patients, or, if someone has a life-changing event that takes away their ability to work, they may have difficulty finding a doctor who will accept either of these two plans. Part 5 of a 5 part series.

Question: Dr. Scherz, you said yesterday that Medicare and Medicaid are broke. How did you come to that conclusion?

Scherz: On the path that we’re on right now, these two entitlement programs will no longer be available in the future. However, we believe that these two programs can be set up, so that they won’t go away in the future, if some changes are made.

Question: In your opinion, what will happen to Medicaid and Medicare in the next 5 to 10 years?

Scherz: According to the Medicare actuary, unless they receive the cuts that are written into The Affordable Care Act, Medicare will run out of money in 2017, which is 5 years from now. If Congress gets the cuts (reductions in payments to doctors, hospitals and medical providers) then Medicare can keep functioning as it is until 2024. One of the items of the Affordable Care Act that most people don’t know about is that there is $27 trillion worth of unfunded mandates and obligations for Medicare right now. The Medicare system cannot accomplish these mandates without that $27 trillion.

◦In recognition of his establishment of D4PC, Dr. Hal Scherz was the 2011 recipient of the Heritage Foundation's Salvatori Award for outstanding citizenship.

◦In recognition of his establishment of D4PC, Dr. Hal Scherz was the 2011 recipient of the Heritage Foundation’s Salvatori Award for outstanding citizenship.

Question: A mandate is when the government says that if a person has a broken leg, a doctor has to see that patient, fix that broken leg, put a cast on it and give the patient some crutches, right? However, there’s nothing in that mandate that says how the doctor gets paid for his time, how the hospital gets paid for maintaining the emergency room, or how the materials to make the cast or the crutches for the person to walk out on are funded, and herein is the problem. Everybody feels good about being able to put the cast on his or her leg for free, but the doctors and the hospitals must be paid, as well as the people who provide the crutches, and there’s no money to pay for these expenses. Is there anything that’s free?

Scherz: No, there’s not. Number one, the government doesn’t have any money to pay for this free health care. Next, you have to ask; “Where does the government get its money?” The answer is simple, from the taxpayers. When the Affordable Care Act says that everyone can have wellness visits to the doctor, or the government pays for preventative health care , then you have to ask the question, “Who is paying for all this free health care ?”  For the government to give anything to anyone, they have to take the money to pay for that “free” gift from someone else. Now, if the taxpayers don’t pay for this free healthcare, and the doctors and the hospitals can’t afford to pay for this free health care, then who will pay for it? What kind of health care can we expect, if no one is willing to pay for the health care that the government has promised? Should anyone be asked to work or provide services for free? There are some major issues here that are going to affect all of us detrimentally, if we don’t become involved with our own health care. So, our organization, Docs4 Patient Care, is encouraging everyone in the health care community to present a strong, single voice to Congress about our concerns and how we think health care  should be administered and paid for, instead of letting the Washington politicians tell us what will happen.

This reason is why Docs4 Patient Care is trying to build its membership, by developing state chapters around the country. We currently have 13 state chapters of Docs4 Patient Care with 4 to 6 more chapters being developed right now. Many of the issues that need to happen to reform the Affordable Care Act have to happen at the state level. So, individuals in states can be very effective in talking to state legislators to help legislators implement reforms in the Affordable Care Act. On our webpage (www.docs4patients.org) we have a place – the “Download Center” (http://docs4patientcare.org/downloads) – where doctors can download information to give to their patients. This Download Center focuses on two different sections – one on what patients need to know and another on what doctors need to know. You can download and print these articles. Patients can give this information to their doctors, and doctors can give this to their patients. Also patients and doctors can share this timely information with their legislators. We are constantly putting new information up on the webpage. We believe that patients make the best healthcare decisions for themselves and their families. Doctors shouldn’t have their hands tied (by the federal government) in making those decisions. If we don’t work now to preserve that doctor-patient relationship and change the direction that health care is going at the current time, then we may see many more problems.

For more information, visit www.docs4patientcare.org. You also can learn more about Docs 4 Patient Care by going to YouTube www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvDiFraglHM.

All photos were taken from www.docs4patientcare.org

About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at http://www.nighthawkpublications.com

Hal Scherz Explains the Future Difficulties Of The Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act is a serious issue because it diverts $500 billion out of Medicare, so there’s considerably less money available.

The Affordable Care Act is a serious issue because it diverts $500 billion out of Medicare, so there’s considerably less money available.

Editor’s Note from Lisa Wells, the Director of Marketing at UroMed: Many times people with spinal cord injuries are unable to work, which means many of our UroMed clients are on Medicare. Or, if a child has spinal bifida, most of them are on Medicare. These reasons are why UroMed is bringing this issue to our readers. If doctors stop taking Medicare or Medicaid patients, or, if someone has a life-changing event that takes away their ability to work, they may have difficulty finding a doctor who will accept either of these two plans. Part 4 of a 5 part series.

Question: Why is the Affordable Care Act an important issue right now, Dr. Scherz?

Scherz: The Affordable Care Act diverts $500 billion out of Medicare, so there’s considerably less money available to the people on Medicare – less money to reimburse hospitals and care providers and to address the other health care needs that patients have. The Medicare re-investment is scheduled to be slashed even further, up to 30 percent by January 1, 2013. This reason is why doctors are bailing out of Medicare. Right now, only 30 percent of the doctors in this country take Medicaid patients. So, there’s a real problem right now finding doctors who will take Medicaid and Medicare patients, because the reimbursement on Medicaid for services is so incredibly bad. Another problem is that many companies are struggling to pay medical costs for their employees. If employees are dropped from their company funded policies, then they’ll be picked up by Medicaid, according to The Affordable Care Act.

Question: What do we need to expect if the Affordable Care Act is not repealed or changed?

Scherz: You won’t have control over your own health care. The health care you receive will be determined by Washington. Remember that the more control the government has over your health care, the less control you have.

No one will have control over healthcare with the Affordable Care Act.

Docs4Patient Care is worried about the controls over healthcare with the Affordable Care Act.

Question: What is Docs4 Patient Care doing to help solve this problem?

Scherz: We have representatives from Docs4 Patient Care traveling to Washington regularly and interacting with people who are decision makers in Congress to try and get the act repealed or changed in support of patients’ healthcare rights. We’re explaining to the people in Congress the problems we’re having as medical providers, the problems that our patients are having, and why the current health plan needs to be changed. We’re also discussing with them solutions that can fix the problems. We believe that health care is a personal responsibility, and that people should be in charge of their own health care. People need to be healthcare consumers and be able to make decisions for themselves and their families that determine the care they get, based on financial consideration. We believe that if individuals are responsible for spending their money for health care, they’ll be far-more responsible and get far better care than if the government takes their money and spends it on the type of health care that the government thinks they should have.

People should also purchase the insurance that they want themselves, instead of having their employers purchase it for them. We see instances where individuals stay in jobs they don’t like, because the companies provide the insurance. For instance, why should a 60 year old person have to pay for maternity benefits or be covered with maternity benefits, if he or she doesn’t need that type of protection? The individual should be able to pay for the type of coverage they want and not have to pay for medical coverage that they don’t need. If this type of health care is enacted, the price of insurance will go down drastically, especially if individuals are given the same tax breaks that companies are given for providing health care insurance for their employees. If you give individuals incentives for buying insurance, rather than requiring them to have it through a government-managed plan, then they’ll buy insurance.

Another thing that we’ll recommend is torte reforms that will reduce the number of unnecessary tests being run because of doctors who are afraid of being sued for medical malpractice. We’re also in favor of transparency in the medical profession, which means doctors will post their fees. Then individuals become better consumers and can make better choices on what doctors and hospitals provide the best programs for the best price. But, one of the most-serious problems that we see in the future is that Medicaid and Medicare are broke.

To learn more, go to www.docs4patientcare.org. You also can learn more about Docs4 Patient Care by going to YouTube www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvDiFraglHM.

All photos are taken from www.docs4patientcare.org

Next: Dr. Hal Scherz on the Affordable Care Act’s $27 Trillion of Unfunded Mandates and the Future of Medicare and Medicaid

About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at http://www.nighthawkpublications.com

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